Welcome to the Sector Strategies Blog!

Below, you'll find reports, news items and original articles that we think are of particular interest to sector strategy leaders. We encourage you to check in regularly for the latest updates. When you register for the site, you can subscribe to get notifications of updates sent directly to your email inbox. Submissions are encouraged! Just email us with your links, reports, articles, questions, and suggestions for making sectorstrategies.org the best resource for State sector strategy leaders. Lastly, we encourage you to comment on the posts you see here, adding your opinions, insight and experiences.

Blog archive

New Energy Efficiency Workforce Sector Strategy in California

Through a Workforce Education & Training Initiative by the California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is leading an Energy Efficiency Workforce Sector Strategy that kicked off with a convening in San Ramon, CA earlier this year. The goals of the Energy Efficiency Workforce Sector Strategy are two-pronged:

  • To help California achieve its energy efficiency goals and mandates through education and training programs of benefit to employees of companies in the energy efficiency products and services supplier sector, including public and investor-owned utilities, for the non-residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural markets.
  • To supply public utilities with a workforce that is trained in the supply and distribution of renewable and sustainable energy sources and technologies.

A multi-phased execution of the strategy is being led by a consortium of leaders from industry, education, labor, government, and workforce intermediaries. More information is available at www.eesectorstrategy.com.

Big Win for Industry Partnerships in Pennsylvania

A bill has passed in Pennsylvania to permanently fund Industry Partnerships:

The Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions, Keystone Research Center, PathWays PA, PA Partners and other workforce leaders from across the state achieved a major win after working together to protect their state’s sectoral strategy infrastructure. After a vigorous statehouse battle, Pennsylvania lawmakers—led by Senator Brubaker (R-36)—voted unanimously to permanently establish the Industry Partnerships program as part of the state's workforce development strategy.

Read more here.

Industry Partnership Sustainability Webinar Series

Corporation for a Skilled Workforce recently worked with Pennsylvania Partners to put together a two part webinar series on sustainability of industry partnerships. Slides are available through the Pennsylvania Partners website. The first webinar focused on financial sustainability and included presentations from Jim Lauckner, Rhandi Berth, and Susan Thomas. The second webinar looked at aspects of sustainability beyond the money, and included presentations from Scott Sheely, Dazzie McKelvy, Jeff Marcella, and Laurie Black. A recording of the second webinar is also available.

New Additions to the Library

We've just added several new reports to the library. In the research and report section you'll find likes to a summary of state sector activity in the fall of 2010 from CSW, profiles of sector initiatives from NNSP, a guidebook for workforce partnerships from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Under the evaluations section, there are a couple of updates from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study and the second annual evaluation report from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.


Unlocking the Potential of the Lower-Wage Workforce

In these tough economic times, employers can improve their fortunes by investing in training and career development for their frontline employees, according to a business brief recently released by the National Network for Sector Partners (NNSP). From Hidden Costs to High Returns, Unlocking the Potential of the Lower-Wage Workforce is based on structured interviews with employers around the nation who have achieved significant bottom line benefits by undertaking innovative training and career development efforts targeted at their lower-skilled, lower-wage workers.

Click here to download a copy of From Hidden Costs to High Returns: Unlocking the Potential of the Lower-Wage Workforce and find out what companies around the nation are doing to position themselves and their workers for success in the post-recession economy.

Energy Workforce Evaluation Toolkit

This toolkit was designed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) to help CEWD determine how successful their workforce development efforts have been. It evaluates change at the employer level, but results from several employers could be rolled up to help an energy industry sector partnership evaluate outcomes.

Evaluation and metrics are a critical link in any planning process ... But evaluation is not the first step. Workforce planning begins with the company business strategy and continues to a set of key workforce strategies, including strategies for workforce development. These strategies will guide the creation of a workforce that is the right size and has the skills and competencies to keep the business strong and competitive.

The evaluation process described in this tool kit can be used as a framework for measuring any workforce strategy, but the key performance indicators and critical success factors are specifically created to measure what matters most in the creation of career pathways to energy jobs in the skilled trades.

Evaluation of a Sector One-Stop Model in NYC

This recent report - Workforce Innovations: Outcome Analysis of Outreach, Career Advancement and Sector-Focused Programs - looks at three targeted approaches to employment services offered by New York City's Center for Economic Opportunity, Small Business Services department (SBS-CEO). One of these is the Workforce1 Transportation Career Center, which is a sector-focused one-stop center working with both job seekers and incumbent workers in the transportation industry.

The evaluation found that Transportation Career Center participants are placed at higher rates, have higher hourly wages and more weekly hours at placement than participants served by the non-sector focused Workforce1 Career Centers. Additionally, the evaluators used a cost-benefit analysis to estimate savings associated with the three SBS-CEO employment programs, and found that:

The 5-year net benefit associated with the Workforce1 Transportation Career Center program is estimated to be over $37 million and net return-on-investment is estimated to be 910 percent (range of 850 percent to 1,110 percent). That is, every dollar invested in this program in 2009 will result in $9.10 return to taxpayers over the five years.

Download the full report to learn more.

Newly Added

There have been lots of new additions to sectorstrategies.org in the last few days.

In the library, we've added links to reports on health care strategies in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

New additions to the toolkit include industry sector analyses across several industries and a process guide for local sector initiatives from Maryland. From Wisconsin, a great example of a concise and attractive messaging document that explains the state's sector strategy and how it fits in with the state's career pathways initiative.

As always, we look forward to receiving your submissions to the site.


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